Porchia throws hat in the ring for Storey County sheriff

A community-oriented Sheriff's Department is crucial in Storey County, according Charles Porchia, a candidate for sheriff.

"Storey County is small and has a population of only 3,700 people. There's no reason why there can't be a closer relationship between the police force and the people," he said. "I'd like to see more emphasis on small-town policing."

A reserve commander with Storey County Sheriff's Department for about six years, Porchia left that department after he lost his last bid for sheriff to Pat Whitten four years ago.

He's an avid horseman and now serves as a reserve deputy sheriff with Carson City's Reserve Mounted unit. The group provides crowd control for local events in addition to doing search and rescue work.

Porchia graduated from the Western Nevada Peace Officer's academy in 1996 at age 53, fifth in a class of 27.

"They called me gramps," he said with a smile.

Now 60, he admits to loving the work and said verbal skills are at least as important as the ability to handle any weapon. If elected, he would like to reinstitute Storey County's mounted unit. He said police cars intimidate people but horses don't.

"Storey County's budget is in good shape and they haven't had a reserve program for four years," he said. "No kid ever pet the hood of a police car. Horses create a good image. They're more laid back and low key and people like them."

The issues Porchia is addressing arose following the shooting death of town character Bob McKinney in May of 2001.

Following an alleged altercation on C Street, McKinney was shot by deputy Mark McCreary in front of the Firehouse Restaurant and Saloon. McKinney drew a knife on McCreary after McCreary sprayed him with pepper spray. The incident outraged many residents.

"In 1998 when I was reserve commander in Storey County, I interviewed McCreary for the reserves. But he had an arrest record and I turned him down," Porchia said. "Whitten knew he had problems and hired him anyway. I can't tell what would've happened if McCreary hadn't responded to that call, but I can say that it would not have been McCreary if I'd been elected sheriff.

"Backup was on the way during that incident," he said. "If McCreary had waited just a few minutes, help would have been there."

A Vietnam veteran, Porchia served two tours of duty at Nha Trang as a mechanic in the Air Force. He has lived in the Virginia Highlands with his wife, Vicki since 1989. A contractor, he owns income property in Southern California.

Also running for sheriff are Whitten, Stephen Bloyd and Tyler S. Clarke.


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